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Arizona basketball: Kadeem Allen has become a dangerous 3-point shooter

Don’t look now, but the senior is shooting over 50 percent from 3 this season

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 01 Arizona at Stanford

Sean Miller has labeled Kadeem Allen as Arizona’s best defender, best leader, and hardest worker (along with Dusan Ristic), and pretty soon he may have to call him the Wildcats’ best shooter, too.

Because, at least statistically, it’s true.

After sinking all three of his 3-point attempts in the win over Colorado on Saturday, Allen is now shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc this season, connecting on 18 of his 35 3-point attempts.

The senior’s 51.4 percent mark is the best on the team, with Lauri Markkanen being second at 45.6 percent.

Allen has already matched the number of 3s he made a season ago, and despite shooting them a higher volume, his percentage has noticeably jumped from the 36 percent he shot from 3 last season.

“Sometimes in the past he could lose his confidence, but he’s very, very confident right now,” Miller said. “He shoots it everyday. When you see somebody work as hard he works, you want him to do well.”

Allen said he didn’t make any significant mechanical changes to his jumper, rather his improvement is simply the product of newfound confidence, repetition, and simplifying his approach.

“Just sitting down more, 1-2 stepping, just focusing on the target and just shooting the ball,” he said. “My teammates and coaches, they just give me ultra confidence and I’m just taking that confidence and using it to shoot the ball.”

To expect Allen to shoot over 50 percent from 3 for the entire season would be unfair, but at minimum, teams now have to be aware of where he is on the perimeter at all times.

That wasn’t always the case.

“50 (percent) is pretty high, but the days of people daring him to shoot are over,” Miller said. “If they want to keep doing that they can, but he’s going to make them.”

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